Hello, dear readers!
Yay, you're back at the Oasis ― it's great to have you here! This is the place to refresh your spirits, recharge your creativity, and get a literary mood boost!
Now, stretch your smiles wide and get comfy and cozy for a lovely chitchat because today we have another fabulous creative on the KidLit Oasis series... Children's author Heather Macht is here to share some wisdom, insight, and inspiration with us! Plus, there's a double giveaway, too!
Welcome, Heather! Thank you for joining us on the blog. Please briefly describe your journey to publication.
A: Thanks so much for having me, Rosie! Wow, I’ve been interested in publication ever since I was a young girl. But my interest really peaked when I was 18 and graduating high school. I told my teachers and classmates that I was going to be a children’s picture book author. I knew there was nothing else I wanted to do. I spent years in libraries looking through the bookshelves, writing, querying, and yes, even receiving boatloads of rejections (and I mean BIG boatloads). However, after years of perseverance, I finally received my first YES. That was almost 13 years later after my journey started! My first book, You May Just Be a Dinosaur, was published in 2015. It was worth the wait. 😉
Q: What do you find most challenging in this business, either on the creative or publishing side of things? What do you find most rewarding? What helps you stay motivated?
A: You know, I was under the impression once I had my first, second, or even third book published that things would get easier. Yeah, I was wrong. It’s equally as difficult to get a book published the fourth or fifth time around. And it makes sense, too. The writing community is so talented! Publishers are constantly getting swamped with incredible manuscripts. You must keep studying and working on your craft. And, you must keep up to date on what’s getting published. This helps you make sure you have a fresh take and put a fresh spin on what you’re writing, so you can offer publishers something new (not something they’ve seen over and over).
What’s most rewarding and what helps me stay motivated actually share the same answer: I love reading to kids. My favorite type of events are school visits where I get to read and inspire students, and hopefully make them laugh (which I thankfully usually do). This is always a reminder of why I keep trying and trudging through rejections. It’s worth seeing their faces light up and making a connection with them! Added bonus: I have at least a handful of students tell me they want to be a writer, too, after my presentation. That makes my heart melt every time.
Q: Could you share any craft tools or techniques that you find most helpful to you when working on a project?
A: Yes, I have three techniques I swear by. Hopefully some of these will help other writers, too.
Q: What's coming up for you next? Please tell us about any new releases, exciting news, upcoming events or anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
A: My next book, Rex the…We-Don’t-Know, is coming out April 6th! It was the most difficult book I’ve written, probably because it means so much to me. Since Rex is a blend of all the animals I had growing up, I knew I had a special duty (to them) to make it extra heartfelt. 😉 Needless to say, I’m SO excited to have this book released into the world! I’m currently planning blog tours, book readings, school visits, and more so stay tuned for updates!
Thank you, Heather! It's always a pleasure chatting with you. All the best with Rex the…We-Don’t-Know and your future projects!
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I hope you enjoyed this post and will be back for our next chitchat. Shares this post with writer friends, teachers, librarians and parents. Thank you!
Comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of
Rex the…We-Don’t-Know AND a picture book critique!
(One winner for both; US only; prize will be mailed after quarantine)
Connect with Heather:
Heather Macht, author of REX THE...WE-DON'T-KNOW (Pelican, 2020), THE ANT FARM ESCAPE! (Pelican, 2019), and YOU MAY JUST BE A DINOSAUR (Pelican, 2015), is an active children's author who has been creating stories since the third grade! She earned her degree in fine arts from Florida State College at Jacksonville and holds a career as an I.T. professional and a full-time mom. Macht’s an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, is a volunteer judge for Rate Your Story, and lives with her family in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. In her spare time, she dwells in poetry and picture books and enjoys painting. For more, visit www.heathermacht.com
And the giveaway winner is . . .
Soon it will be time to hop on the Haiku Hype train! As we all get ready for a fun ride, it's my pleasure to introduce to you our second guest-judge who will help me evaluate the submissions. She's a children's author and a poet who will bring her expertise to the team and offer her argument for picking the top favorite poems. In other words, I've got one more person to have a virtual pillow fight with when the time comes to select the winners :)
So, without further ado, please welcome Heather Macht! Here's a short interview with Heather where you can find out more about her, her work and read Heather's advice to the contestants:
Q: Are you excited about being on the judge panel of the Haiku Hype Kids Poetry Contest? How do you feel about helping kids get inspired to write?
A: Hi, Rosie! I'm very excited to be a judge on the Haiku Hype Kids Poetry Contest. Not only is poetry my favorite thing to read, it's also my favorite thing to write. Needless to say, I'm SO excited to help everyone get inspired to write poetry and see what this talented group of kids comes up with!
Q: What advice can you give the students, teachers and librarians who might consider participating in the contest?
A: My advice is simple: go for it! Getting creative and thinking outside the box is extremely fun and rewarding. Not only will you flex your academic muscles (as you try to keep within the syllable count) you'll also boost your imagination. And, as Albert Einstein once said: "Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." How can you argue with that? ;)
Q: Please tell us a bit about yourself and your journey as a writer. What are you currently working on and what are you looking forward to? What are your latest news that you can share with our readers?
A: My journey, I distinctly remember, started in the third grade when I turned a science project about dinosaurs into a creative writing assignment. Of course, this was not approved by the teacher (and I may have gotten into a wee bit of trouble), but I continued writing and eventually got a book about dinosaurs published!
My first picture book, YOU MAY JUST BE A DINOSAUR, which mixes fun dino-facts with silly scenarios, was released in 2015.
I have two more picture books: THE ANT FARM ESCAPE! and REX THE…WE DON’T KNOW, being released in 2019, and couldn’t be happier.
I have so many new stories in the works right now, and I’m really excited about them. Some of my favorites revolve around fun monsters, so stay tuned for upcoming news!
Thank you, Heather! I love how you persisted with your dino story and it paid off so wonderfully. And I completely agree with you and Albert Einstein about the power of imagination and where it can take you--the possibilities are limitless. I hope everyone takes your advice and just goes for it!
If you'd like to read some haiku poems by Heather, visit her blog here where she shared a haiku poem a day for Poetry Month in 2016 to celebrate nature and expression.
Heather Macht, author of YOU JUST MAY BE A DINOSAUR (Pelican, 2015), THE ANT FARM ESCAPE! (Pelican, 2018), and REX THE...WE DON'T KNOW (Pelican, 2019), is an active children's author who has been creating stories since the third grade! She earned her AA in fine arts from Florida State College at Jacksonville and held a career in the I.T. world before becoming a full-time writer and mom. Macht’s an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and lives with her family in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. In her spare time, she dwells in poetry and picture books and enjoys painting. For more, visit www.heathermacht.com.
Do you think that you may be a dinosaur? If your claws puncture kickballs, you use a whole tree to brush your teeth, and your tail spikes always rip through your pants, it’s possible that you may just be a dinosaur. Apatosaurus chomps and Velociraptor romps in this hilarious, informative rhyming picture book. Bright illustrations show children the tail-thumping chaos a Spinosaurus could cause trying to find dinner in a refrigerator and why a T. rex should never, ever try to take the school bus. Featuring information on dinosaurs’ sizes, diets, health, and social lives, You May Just Be a Dinosaur is a prehistoric parade of the funniest, punniest, chummiest dinos you’ll ever see in the schoolyard.
Stay tuned for the reveal of
Mystery Judge #3
About Rosie J. Pova
Rosie J. Pova is a
award-winning children's author, speaker, and writing coach on a mission to inspire children not only to read and write more, but to use their creativity, follow their passions, dream big and believe in themselves.
Rosie visits schools and shares her inspirational journey as an immigrant from Bulgaria and how she became a published author, encouraging kids to persist, push through rejections, and hold a high vision for themselves.
Rosie's picture book, Sunday Rain, was featured in The New York Times and Parents magazine, and her upcoming one, The School of Failure: A Story About Success, will be released in May 2022 in the U.S. and China.
Check out her Critique Services here, her Workshops here, and her school visits page here.
Rosie is represented by Jennifer Herrington of Harvey Klinger Literary.